Entry by Melanie Friedman: Stage set design for John Webster’s Duchess of Malfi, 1913-1957

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Stage set design for John Webster’s Duchess of Malfi, 1913-1957

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Both the pictures I have provided are photos of drawings by Pavel Tchelitchew in 1913-1957 of original stage set designs for this 20th century production of John Webster’s Duchess of Malfi. I thought this would be very interesting for a manifold entry because it represents how the stage was meant to be set up for the play in this time period. The first photo is of a drawing using paper and “graphite”. The second photo is of a drawing using paper with “brush and black in wish splashes of gouache”. The photos both contain drawings from different angles of the somewhat dome-shaped building that was possibly where the play was meant to be held. The description for both of these photos says “the play was never produced” so it is possible that these artifacts are images of what the stage set was meant to look like but it never was actually produced exactly how the drawings are. The description is very vague so it is hard to place exactly where this artifact fits in the context of the play but it is definitely interesting to see the architecture surrounding the play. This may not have been how the architecture looked during the original production of the play in 1612, but the scenery and architecture are valuable in order to see how the play is continued throughout history hundreds of years later, and how scenery may change over time.

Author: Melanie Friedman

  • type
  • created on
  • file format
  • file size
    2 MB
  • creator
    Pavel Tchelitchew
  • rights
    Restricted Access
  • rights holder
    source from Gernsheim Photographic Corpus of Drawings, found on Artstor library